Tuesday, February 12, 2013

50 Items IHeart: Kitchen Storage!

This month I have really been thinking hard about our kitchen and how it functions for us.  I am sure many of you can relate when I say that the kitchen is the most common and heavily used area in the home.  Sort of the "hub" if you will.

I am always taking note of the things that work and what absolutely is not, and try to problem solve those problematic areas, which I then share with you darling friends.  And although our kitchen isn't perfect, as I sit and reflect on it this month, there are quite a few items we have been using for years and years that have made our lives in the kitchen so much simpler and easier.  So today, instead of reflecting on the bad, I am going to reflect on the GREAT!  And share with you items that I specifically heart to use in our own kitchen {and two that have made their way onto my wish list for the future}.

{ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 }
 
Now, time to review {links for each numbered product are above}:
  1. I am not a huge fan of kitchen counter clutter, I am however, a fan of easy access and being smart about storage.  Keeping a pretty utensil jar on our counter next to the stove keeps daily cooking utensils right within reach and allows you to use your drawers to store less frequently used items and everything else you don't want out in the open.
  2. I use small baskets all over my kitchen.  I keep one on the opposite side of the stove, to corral cooking oils and vinegars.  I also use them in my cupboards to group common food packets and small food packages together.
  3. By now, you all know I am the biggest advocate for drawer liners in any shape, color or style.  Not only do they allow you to quickly wash up and clean out your drawers, but they also add a happy smiling surprise every time you reach in to grab a measuring spoon or apple cutter.
  4. Pull out drawers are the best.invention.ever.  We were fortunate enough to have our already installed within our cabinet when the home was built, but I can't imagine life without them.  They allow you to easily gain access to items stored in the back of the cabinet, that are typically out of sight, out of mind.
  5. If there is anything I want out of sight, out of mind, in the kitchen, it is our knives.  Not necessarily for our sake, but because our kids are in the kitchen just as much as we are.  By using a drawer knife block organizer, we are able to keep the knives tucked away and add a child safety mechanism to the drawer as well.
  6. Large glass jars are awesome for keeping frequently used baking items, cereals and puppy treats on your counter, while doubling as adorable, functional accessories.
  7. These shelves are wish list item number one for me.  They double the available storage space within a cabinet, and allow dishes to be stacked for simpler access.
  8. We added a bakeware organizer to our cabinet a few years ago and it has made life so much simpler ever since.  It allowed us to place our baking sheets and cutting boards vertically vs. horizontally stacked.  Now, they just slide in and out with ease vs. having to dig through a stack.
  9. This fam of five goes through a lot of cereal.  So by using cereal keepers we can always see our inventory {we absolutely can't allow it to run out or we will have grumpy kids, lol}, and it keeps it fresh for longer, since when we keep cereal in the box, the bag tends to be left open.
  10. Wish list item number two is the tiered cabinet organizer.  Or, I may just DIY one, but regardless, I love that it allows you to easily see items in the back of a cabinet, so nothing is forgotten and everything is within reach.
  11. The multi-purpose bins are typically used for the home office and around the house, but I find they work best in the kitchen in the fridge or freezer for keeping food contents separated and organized.
  12. Drawer organizers have been a winner around here for years.  Rummaging isn't the name of the game, and organizers not only prevent things from getting mixed up within the drawers, they also prevent you from placing too many things in without thinking about where they belong.
  13. Since food is expensive, we store leftovers, freshly cut fruits and vegetables in glass food storage containers.  I went with glass a few years ago since they are BPA free and keep food contents nice and cold.  Plus, they last far longer than any plastic option I have come across.  Well worth our investment.
  14. I have to admit, iHeart my coffee tin.  It's the simple things.  I don't use ground coffee, which I think the tin was initially intended for, but I do toss my box of K-Cups inside and keep it right next to the coffee maker.  Again, any way to group common items together wins in this kitchen!
  15. Raise your hand if you have paper piles on your counter.  That was us too.  Every single day.  Then, I invested in a wall pocket system and now we can sort family papers in their appropriate bin, hang our keys, drop our change and keep stamps and notepads all within reach, but not on the counter.
  16. For all of our dried foods, we now store them in clear, air tight containers.  We can always see what we have, everything stays fresh and by adding a vinyl label on the side, I can use a chalk marker to write in the date that we put the food within the container.  Now it I never have to question how old something is or if it is still good enough to eat.
  17. No kitchen is complete without mason jars.  They are so versatile for everything from spices to sprinkles.  I am in love.
  18. Our kitchen isn't huge, but it isn't small either.  However, we did eventually outgrow it as our family grew.  I don't hoard excessive entertaining pieces or small appliances, but we did need to expand our storage.  Purchasing a sideboard cabinet allowed us to have a place to store serving items, crock pots, food sealers and tea kettles.  It greatly expanded our storage for all of those things we don't use daily, but still use often enough to keep, and was far less costly than building a new kitchen or home.
Now that I shared my favorite kitchen storage items, and why, what are yours?  Anything you couldn't live without in the kitchen storage department?

50 comments:

  1. I am a huge sucker for huge, glass apothecary jars. They could be filled with candy, pasta, or just used as a decoration and I love them!

    My current disorganization stems from the fact that we always use our computers on the kitchen table, so there are always two laptops with the cords strewn about, with the papers, pens, and miscellaneous items all around!

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  2. I'm a huge fan of #11! I use them for everything. So versatile - I have them in the office, the laundry room, and in the freezer!

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  3. Spice jars have been an absolutely divine addition to our kitchen! We cook 2 meals almost every day, and use a lot of different spices and herbs. I just had to label each jar and love the fact that they're clear, so we can see when we're running low on supply. I highly recommend them!! I blogged about them once here http://managingthemanor.blogspot.com/2012/10/spice-storage.html And I need to update it with better pictures! :)

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  4. OK... so this is the simplest tip ever, but I have become a huge fan of gallon size ziplock bags. I have a very small kitchen and with four kids we go through a lot of food. I would put our cereal in storage containers similar to yours, but often had several containers taking up valuable shelf space even though they only had a few servings of cereal left. (Inevitably, no one would want to finish off that particular type of cereal and the plastic containers would take up shelf space, even though they didn't have much cereal in them!) I now pour bags of cereal into gallon sized ziplock bags and store them on the shelf that way. I love it because the bags shrink as our cereal supply goes down. I also empty out large Costco boxes, such as crackers, Nilla wafers, Oreos, or pita chips into zip lock bags. Since I am working with a really limited amount of space, it helps me that the container gets smaller as we go through each food item.

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  5. Love this list! I really need to invest in a knife drawer block - such a smart and safe idea.

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  6. I love and use Made in the USA organizing items like your #9. You can read about my favorites here: http://organized31.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-american-kitchen-organizing.html

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  7. I literally just bought that knife block today at Target! Excited to get it in place. Thanks for sharing all your favorites.

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  8. Thank soooo MUCH for this POST! I will STUDY this, as my kitchen is in DIRE need to organizing!! =)

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  9. I came to conclusion a few weeks ago that a sideboard was the perfect option to store kitchen appliances and some of my extra sewing/scrapbooking supplies, the one you have featured here is exactly what I'm looking for! Sadly I live in Australia, lol. Thanks for the inspiration though, I may be on the hunt for a few of those listed, especially the tired spice rack!

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  10. I love your #15 tip. Paper overwhelms me! Mailers with coupons and offers I 'might use' by a specific date make me crazy.

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  11. What sideboard did you buy? I have been looking for one and can't find one that is large enough. But I love the one from your previous blog in your dining room!

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    Replies
    1. Hello,

      I purchased mine from homedecorators.com a few years back. I don't believe they still carry our particular version, but they do still offer a selection of options.

      xo!
      Jen

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  12. One of my favorite additions to our kitchen organization has been "Label Once erasable food labels." I used to write dates on items in the fridge with dry erase markers, but those easily smeared off. I then switched to permanent markers, but I couldn't always remove the ink. Label Once labels and markers are great because you label each piece (guess how many times...) once and write and erase the dates and descriptions as food is used up. They're also dishwasher safe, which is a necessity for our family. Easy peasy!

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  13. We have a small kitchen and a large family.. but I love the pantry in my kitchen... it has a spice rack that covers the whole inside of the door! It rocks :D Kathi

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  14. Where do you find your drawer liner paper?

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    Replies
    1. I find it everywhere, but my favorite places to find the wipeable drawer liner is at HomeGoods, Marshalls & TJ Maxx since they always have pretty and unique patterns. Home Depot offers some in store and many more options online. I am guessing Amazon has a slew of options as well.

      You can find a post on the subject here also: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/08/you-asked-wrapping-paper-wrap-up.html

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  15. Could you give us websites for buying those items? Thanks:)!!!

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    Replies
    1. All of the numbered sources/links are listed below the product image within the post.

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
  16. I'm with you on the glass storage containers! I love these green ones!!!! So bright and cheery! =)

    When people come over to eat they're always like - "uhhh where's the plastic for the leftovers?" Uhhhh glass is better. Plus I can freeze them, fridge em, and reheat them all in the same container. Love it! And this list! xoxo

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  17. LOVE kitchen organization! I am in process of replacing all my spices into glass jars! Hopefully I'll have a pictures and a post posted soon =) It definitely makes me feel good when everything has a place and looks great to boot!

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  18. I do a lot of baking and have always wanted to have my flour, sugar, etc. in those beautiful glass jars. Our kitchen right now is too small, but we are about to move (again!) and I have grand plans for that new kitchen :) Oh and #7 is a LIFESAVER! It made reaching and storing our everyday dishes so much easier.

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  19. LOVE your coffee tin-where did your purchase it?

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    Replies
    1. I found it at Macys: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/martha-stewart-collection-food-storage-canister-vintage?ID=643490&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results

      All of the numbered sources/links are listed below the product image within the post.

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
  20. I know you love Mason jars, but where do you get them?

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    Replies
    1. I find them just about anywhere. Home Depot, Target, Walmart, grocery stores, Amazon... But a really great place to look is thrift stores because I always seem them at Goodwill as well.

      xo!
      Jen

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  21. Sorry....I'm technically challenged! I figured out how to see where you got these gems:)!!!

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    Replies
    1. No worries!

      All of the numbered sources/links are listed below the product image within the post.

      I will try and highlight them or make them more bold.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. Click on the number that is the item you want in the row of numbers at the bottom of the pics of items,it directs you to the web page of the item.

      Delete
  22. Focusing on the positives... Simple, but often overlooked for me! Thanks for your post. It reminded me of all the simple updates I have done to our kitchen to make it more functional. We have a few of those, but one of my favourites are #7, our shelves. As a renter, they've added so much more storage to our apartment sized kitchen, and I love them because they're so easily transportable!

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  23. Yes links to buy these items please! Especially 10, 11, and 15.
    I have had the Target drawer knife blocks for a couple years and LOVE them!

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    Replies
    1. All of the numbered sources/links are listed below the product image within the post.

      I will try and highlight them or make them more bold.

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
  24. Love these pieces...they make organizing a lot "classier". Now I just need you all to organize me!

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  25. Thanks a million for the links Jen. I've been searching for good quality RECTANGULAR containers for cereal and staples in my pantry as well as to group and find things in my fridge. But none of the local stores seem to have what I want. Your numbers 9, 11 and 16 are EXACTLY what I've been looking for. The wasted space of round containers in square edged cabinets is a pet peeve of mine so instead of buying containers I don't like I've been living in disorganization without. I'm up to my eyeballs in paper organization (thanks to signing up for the simplify 101 organize your paper clutter class your blog sent me to) and in a major remodel of our closets. But I've bookmarked this page. My kitchen is the next item on my list and you can be sure I'll be getting some of these.

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  26. Jen, these are some good ones! I would love the glass jars for my flour and sugars. My tupperware ones that I have had for about 20 yrs are wearing out. I only wish I could find the ones with the rubber gasket. I need air tight ones. IKEA used to sell some, but got rid of them. I have one in my laundry room for my Oxyclean. Wished I would of grabbed more. I like the drawer dividers that IKEA has, the wooden ones. My specific ones I have have since been discontinued. http://momma-paparazzi.blogspot.com/2013/01/mia.html I like how everything has a spot in those drawers. I have plastic bins to sort things in my pantry. It works great. I am adding these http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90066708/ for crackers and such. I like the different sizes. Good for our dried fruits, goldfish crackers and the like. IKEA has their bakeware organizer. SO glad I found theirs!! They screw into your cabinet bottom. All the others I found didn't fit. SO much easier for digging for bakeware, especially considering I have a ton of PC bakers and things. My only wish for my kitchen - better quality cabinets. Oh, if I had the money.... LOL My stock hickory cabinets I bought for my laundry room from Lowes are SO much better than the ones the builder used in this house!

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  27. Love this list. It is a good reminder to me of the little things I need to add to my new kitchen when I move in a couple of weeks. This time when I unpack boxes, I will be sure the system for organization is in place and ready to go. A new consideration for me based on this post is drawer liners. I've never tried these. Do you have a "kind" that you prefer?

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  28. Does anyone have a good quality (and affordable!) source for glass jars??? thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I have found all types of glass jars at Hobby Lobby. Somehow at least 2 or 3 end up coming home with me every visit.

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    2. I get mine from Salvation Army,here in Canada,I pay 2.00 a dozen,I run my finger over the rim to check for nicks,Value Village or any thrift store,they usually have tons.

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  29. My absolute must is drawer dividers.... For me, if spaces aren't super organized, I am ridiculously messy and my drawers will overflow into the cabinet below them! I am too much of a tight wad to really spend money on actual drawer organizers, so I've made some out of yard sticks, used really cheap dollar store baskets, and leftover lunch meat containers. They totally keep me in check.

    I also have found your tip to keep pots and pans in the lazy susan to be a huge help. I never would have thought of it, but it works perfectly, so thank you!

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  30. So much great inspiration here! My kitchen is actually the best room in my house, organisation wise, as it's one of the most used rooms and NEEDS to function, but I am still always looking for new fresh ideas!

    www.gleepface.com

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  31. Where do you buy your drawer liners?

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    Replies
    1. I find them everywhere, but my favorite places to find the wipeable drawer liner is at HomeGoods, Marshalls & TJ Maxx since they always have pretty and unique patterns. Home Depot offers some in store and many more options online. I am guessing Amazon has a slew of options as well.

      You can find a post on the subject here also: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/08/you-asked-wrapping-paper-wrap-up.html

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  32. It has always been great reading your posts. You give us some absolutely amazing DIY tips and I appreciate you for doing that. There are vibrant colors that are so attractive. Baking drawer is beautiful. Easily affordable stuff and even easier to get it going. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  33. Are there any UK readers out there? I've been in search of items like #12 for ages and cannot find them online :(

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  34. I have loved all of your organizing tips and tricks. Have implemented several in my home. My major problem is my tiny kitchen. Unfortunately I am having to rent for at least a year. (Moved to a new area and haven't decided which mountain area will be my forever home), so I cannot build or alter in any way. I did purchase a wonderful island which has helped in storage and in counter space. My question is probably simple for some, I have a small chest freezer, I really need help organizing it, I am disabled so I don't get out to grocery shop that often so I keep a lot of meats and veggies stocked up. Any suggestions would be so much appreciated. (The freezer does have 2 nice baskets at the top, I keep the ice packs and quick need things there.)

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  35. Oh my goodness, this makes me want to leave work and go organize my kitchen!!!

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  36. Love #11 also and they are on sale now:) woohoo!

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  37. I'm new to your blog and I was excited to see this because we're moving to a new place soon so I want to start planning my organization! I don't want the new kitchen to fall into the chaos of the current one :P

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